Two experts’ teams of Bangladesh Bank (BB) are now visiting Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Singapore to find out the reasons behind the declining trend of remittances.
BB economic advisor Dr M Akhtaruzzaman is leading a 3-member team now visiting Saudi Arabia where over 80 lakh Bangladeshis have been working and the country received a record US$2955.55 million in remittance in fiscal year 2015-16.
General Manager of BB Governor's Secretariat Dr M Habibur Rahman is leading the other team which is now visiting Malaysia and Singapore, the Southeast Asian countries being the major sources of remittances for Bangladesh, BSS reports.
The recent falling trend of the inflow of remittances is becoming a matter of concern for the country.
Meanwhile, the central bank through the foreign ministry has also asked the Bangladesh missions abroad to take necessary steps in getting the cooperation of law enforces of the respective countries to stop the use of illegal channels by the Bangladesh workers in sending remittances home.
Bangladesh migrants sent home US$1337.14 million from Malaysia and US$387.24 million from Singapore in 2015-16.
According to BB, Bangladesh received US$1478.42 million in remittances from Saudi Arabia, US$744.46 million from Malaysia and US$204.61 million from Singapore for the first eight months of FY17.
But inward remittance maintained a sluggish trend from the very beginning of FY17 and the country received a total of US$8,112.52 million for the first eight months of FY17 though the amount was US$9774.09 million during the same period of FY16.
In February 2017, the country received only $936.20 million, the lowest ever, while the amount was $1136.27 million in February 2016.
Talking to BSS, Subhankar Shah, executive director of the central bank, said the falling currency rate against dollar and low oil prices have hit the incomes of the Middle Eastern countries where most of the Bangladeshi migrants work.
"Some NRBs are also using informal channel, including mobile banking, for sending their money home," he added.
He also said BB has already asked different mobile banking operators to enhance further their surveillance in the mobile money transactions.
"The central bank has also enhanced its own supervision on mobile money transactions," he added.
He also said the central bank has already lowered the ceiling of the mobile banking transactions for checking any abuse of the services.